No, I didn’t meet marmalade down in old New Orleans, and I definitely didn’t eat any, because it contains too much sugar…!!

Anyway, I’m really running with the song theme for the titles of these posts, I’m not sure why, probably mainly for my own amusement!

So what exercise have I done this week?

Sh’Bam-this was entirely new to me, and I didn’t have a clue what it was all about. The description on the website was vague too. So, it’s like a Latin American dance class, with a few jumps thrown in for good measure. I love dancing, and I enjoyed it as a fun way to get moving, but it didn’t leave me feeling like I wanted to die, so I probably won’t do it regularly.

Spin-urgh… Still makes me feel a little vommy, but works, so I will keep going!

Circuits-I wasn’t a huge fan last week, but I can see that when I’m stronger, this will be a brilliant HIIT style all over body workout.

Body combat-I have just been this morning, I absolutely love this one!

Omnia-a torturous 45 minutes of weights/pulley things, planks and other core stuff. I could barely feel my legs afterwards. There was a (phew) waiting list for this next week, so hopefully there won’t be any space…!! (joke, kind of…)

I don’t have anything new planned for next week, I’m doing the same mixture of the above.

Food diary:

I’ve kept a diary of what works and what doesn’t-my husband is the main source of stuff not working! He wants to eat the same as me (I’m already making different stuff for the children usually, so making something different for me and Mr W is just ridiculous,) but he is just as fussy as them…

Friday 13/01/17

Breakfast: Quinoa pear porridge-this was AWFUL!! Sorry quinoa, I like you as a savoury food, but even pear couldn’t save your earthy taste from making a rank breakfast!

Lunch: smoked salmon and scrambled egg-what’s not to like!

Dinner: Vegan Mexican chilli bowl with lentils. Mr W hated it! Although I actually loved it…

Saturday 14/01/17

Breakfast: Scrambled egg and avocado-yum!

Lunch: Tinned tuna and steamed veg-a bit boring, but ok.

Dinner: Chicken lentil curry-definitely a hit with both of us!

Sunday 15/01/17

Breakfast: Scrambled egg and steamed veg-yum!

Lunch: Carrot sticks and home made houmous-this was ok.

Dinner: Lemon and chive courgetti with mustard chicken-spiralised courgette in a paleo lemon and chive sauce, with baked mustard chicken-this was really good!

Monday 16/01/17

Breakfast: Cacao and coconut paleo granola (made with cacao nibs, so no sugar, and nuts instead of oats) this was reallllllllllllly good!

Lunch: pumpkin soup-also really nice!

Dinner: Chunky veg and lentil soup-we both liked it!

Tuesday 17/01/17

Breakfast: Cacao and coconut granola (I made a big batch, so had it for breakfast for a few days)

Lunch: Pumpkin soup-homemade, it was nice!

Dinner: King prawn lentil curry-definitely a favourite!

Wednesday 16/01/17  

Breakfast: Cacao and coconut granola

Lunch: Pumpkin soup

Dinner: Squashetti and vegan meatballs-spiralised butternut squash, tossed in oil and thyme, and ‘meatballs’ made from lentils and black beans, and a homemade tomato sauce on the top. I actually predicted that Mr W would hate this (the ‘meatballs’ looked grey and really unappetising,) but he loved it, and I think it’s the best meal so far.

 

Thursday 17/01/17

Breakfast: Cacao and coconut granola

Lunch: salmon and avocado on rye bread (giving rye bread a try as it’s low yeast and low carb, but may omit it in the future.)

Dinner: Chicken and butternut squash fritters with salad-this was another really nice one!

Today:

So far I’ve had paleo nut porridge with almond milk for breakfast, which was nice.

Pounds lost: Only 1 lost this week… But in the reading of mainly depressing information that I do, I did read that when eating well and exercising hard, muscle is built quicker than the fat is burned, leading to a gain, or a plateau-apparently it’s the biggest cause of people giving up in first few weeks. The balance should eventually shift, to where the muscle is built at a slower, more even rate, and the fat loss begins to show. Fingers crossed! This might not be the same for me, because PCOS is a dick, but I’m hopeful!

I’m also using the My Fitness Pal app to track food too. Then I can input accurately, by actual weights, the food I’m eating, and the exercise done. And it shows how easy it is to go over your calorie allowance too-there have been days where I feel like I’ve eaten very little, but by time I’ve hit ‘day complete’ on the app, I only would’ve had about 180 calories left-just goes to show that adding in a couple of glasses of wine (sob,) could easily take you 500 or so calories over your allowance, and you have no idea.

Sorry, I’ve been rubbish at taking pictures of what I’ve been eating-I’ll try and remember to do this next week!

 

In a city in southern England, there lived a woman. She was the wife of a Keifer Sutherland lookalike, and slave to the role of parent, and no-one ever fucking listened to a word she said. Especially partial to totally ignoring anything she had to say, was the Keifer Sutherland she cohabited with, and the wise old elders with whom he had cohabited before her.

After spending billions of hours with her children, the woman felt she knew them best. She had developed complicated algorithms to parent by, in order to minimise them being total and utter assholes, all scientific and shit.

She knew that you NEVER point jovially out of the car window to point out something fun, because it’s guaranteed that at least one child would miss it, and spend the remainder of the journey demanding that you turn around so that they can see it. They will take their seat belts off and make random blackmails like ‘if you don’t turn around, I’ll scratch my bum, wipe it in your face, and throw Star Wars toys all over your bedroom floor when we get home,’ because they’re narcissistic dictators and life revolves around them. Once you’ve stopped to put their seat belts back on, to minimise risk of death, you end up turning around to show them the squirrel licking its nuts (freshly picked from the floor of course) that you thought would make them laugh at the time, and they will get their own way. They knew risk of death would make this happen, so the mum knew never to point out anything funny or unusual in the first place.

She knew never to go on long car journeys after lunchtime, because the complicated algorithms she had spent hours tearing her hair out over, stated quite clearly that being in the car after lunchtime was tantamount to giving children sedatives, and they would most definitely fall straight to sleep. Falling asleep at this time was banned, as the mum had years of experience to have developed the equation that: Children over 3 years of age sleeping in the car after lunchtime=no sleep in the evening and drunken behaviour=no wine and Netflix time for the mum and Keifer Sutherland lookalike.

She also knew that her children refused to walk anywhere, and loved the idea of riding their bikes, but fell out of love with actually riding them, approximately 5.7 seconds after getting on them.

(5.7 seconds later, fuck this shit, I’m getting off.)

So when the wise old elders with whom the Keifer Sutherland lookalike previously cohabited with, demanded that the mum, the Keifer Sutherland lookalike, and their offspring meet them at a place requiring a long post lunchtime drive home, where the paths were unsuitable for pushchairs, but did have an area for riding bikes, the mum consulted her Phd in Looking After Her Own Children, perused her complicated algorithms, scratched her head, and announced: ‘No, we can’t do that, because the children will fall asleep on the way home, you’ll become grumpy Keifer Sutherland lookalike, when they don’t fall asleep at the allotted bedtime, and behave like drunks who have been arrested. Furthermore, they will ask to get off their bikes after 5.7 seconds, and as the paths are unsuitable for pushchairs, I foresee that we will end up carrying them, and their bikes, and it will be no fun for anyone.’

The mum didn’t make these bold statements to be a Kelly Killjoy, she did it for the greater good of the family, and with everyone’s happiness in mind, and because she knew she was fucking right. But the Keifer Sutherland lookalike and the wise old elders said she was, in fact, a Kelly Killjoy, and she could shove her algorithms up her ass.

So off they trundled, and within minutes of arriving at their destination, the mum was not surprised to find that the children, as predicted, became bored of their bikes within 5.7 seconds, and refused to walk-insisting on being carried.

The mum smugly announced ‘well, as nobody listened to me, when I knew I was right, I’m not carrying anyone, or anything-you’re on your own, all of you.’ With belligerence that her drunk tired toddlers would be proud of, the mum lagged behind the Keifer Sutherland lookalike and the (not so) wise elders with whom he cohabited before, and smirked while watching them carry two toddlers, and two bikes between them. She resisted the urge to howl and cackle, and repeatedly shout I Told You So. It was a very satisfying moment.

Of course, on the way home, the children fell victim to the sedatives that the car apparently emits, and fell asleep. With further smugness, the mum announced to the Keifer Sutherland lookalike that he could deal with the drunk tired toddlers later on, while they were refusing to go to sleep at their allotted time, as he had poo poo’d her four years of military style training in order to gain the knowledge that meant she would always know best when it came to the children.

Later on, listening to him deal with the toddlers, while drinking wine and watching Netflix, the mum felt positively euphoric, like she never had before-this was turning into a very good day. And, he actually apologised later on that night, for thinking that her Phd in Looking After Her Own children, was not in fact, a valid or useful qualification. That never happens!

The moral of the story is: Women and mums are always right-that is all.

Have you fallen victim to #nooneeverfucking listens, when you know that you are right? Let me know in the comments below. #noonelistens #imalwaysright.

 

*my new post on attempting to kick some PCOS ass is now on the blog! I will be updating this page midweek, every week.

I was booooooooooooorn by the river…! Ok, as I’d used that song title in the title of this post, I really felt I had to throw that in there! And as this series is called Cysters Are Doing It For Themselves, I also feel the need to carry on with the song title theme!

Anyway, I’m writing this from my bed, in a sweaty mess still, after going to body combat at the gym. I know, it’s gross to be in bed with sweaty gym stuff on, but I am going to change the sheets when I’m done. So anyhoo, body combat. I loved it-but I thought I would, because back in the day (when I went to the gym every day-gosh, can you imagine?) body combat was my favourite of all the exercise classes. And my gym also does virtual classes, which, judging by the fact there’s only ever 3 or 4 people there, are really quite unpopular. I can see why, I suppose it’s not much different to doing an exercise DVD in your front room, and going to an instructor led class is a lot more personal, and probably more motivational. But while I’m getting my fitness back up, I’m liking the virtual classes, because at least there’s space, sprung floors, and less self consciousness about everyone around me being super fit and super toned.

So body combat is a win! My friend also dragged me to circuits this week-NEARLY DIED. But refused to die (well, not complete the class,) as I was adamant I was going to push my physical limits, and not look like an unfit try hard who should be laughed out because they can’t cut it (oh yes, that is me really, but I was damned if others were going to know that!) It was really hard, and not my usual type of thing, but I am going to keep going.

Spin! Oh yes, spin, you absolute fucker! I’m still persevering with this too, because although this is another one that is like the reaper, trying to kill me, it is such a brilliant calorie burner, and all around fitness improver.

I am trying Sh’bam, and Total Toning next week, as well as the others above-I know…!

That’s that’s this weeks exercise talked about, lets talk about FOOD!!!! A while ago, I tried the paleo approach to eating. It’s incredibly low GI, and cuts out most foods that are considered to be gut/digestive tract irritants. Essentially, it’s perfect for people with insulin resistance. BUT, I do find it VERY restrictive, and as absolutely everything has to be made from scratch, it can be just one massive faff.

So I’m using some principles of paleo (although a lot of people who follow paleo are like Baby Led Weaning Puritans-there is no give or take, and you absolutely can’t call your diet paleo if you aren’t following every single rule.) Well, come get me puritans, because I’m following your rules, but I will still be eating lentils and quinoa (because I like them, and I need fibre.) At the moment I’m drawing inspiration from 3 cookbooks-Juli Bauer and George Bryant’s The Paleo Kitchen, Dale Pinnock’s Diabetes: Eat Your Way To Better Health (The Medicinal Chef) because an insulin resistant diet is the same as a diabetic one, and Niomi Smart’s Eat Smart. Yes, I was dubious about getting the book of a young Youtuber, but my brother (a ridiculously avid #cleaneater,) recommended it to me, and it’s actually amazing!

So here is a list of changes I’m making:

Everything organic where possible.  Can be expensive, but a lot of PCOS is to do with hormone imbalance, so minimising hormones in food by buying organic, seems a good way to start.

No Dairy. I’m using coconut or almond milk instead-they are fine to me! BUT everyone knows how much I like cheese-it’s only a matter of time before some Pilgrims Choice will have to be consumed! I was thinking of looking into dairy free cheese (Niomi Smart recommends something called ‘nutritional yeast’, which sounds rank, but I haven’t tried it,) as a cheese replacement, but I’m sure it’ll have the same affect as drinking non alcoholic wine during pregnancy-it’ll just leave me frustrated and angry, wanting the real thing.

Cutting out carbs and some grains. So everything becomes courgetti, squashetti, etc. Vegetables are spiralised the to within an inch of their lives, as a replacement for pasta. Favourite vegetables for this include sweet potato, butternut squash, courgette, carrot, and celeriac. My favourite so far, is butternut squash, tossed in oil and thyme. And like I said earlier, no grains except lentils and quinoa.

Being careful with some fruits. Tropical fruits are out, and I’m sticking to apples, pears, and a handful of berry fruits as the GI of other fruits can be too high. A lot of the desserts in the above books, use dates and other very sweet fruits, as sweeteners, but I’m avoiding these too, and using a small amount of maple syrup if I need something sweetened.

No alcohol… I know, impossible when you have kids, right? So I will still be having some occasionally, just not the nightly glass or two I was having…! And when I go out with friends too, because I refuse to be a diet bore, and I need to live a little!

I’m leaving it there for today, but will doing a breakdown of what I’ve been eating-what is totally rank, and what is really fab!

Stats for this week:

Headaches: less frequent

Muscles in agony: Too many to mention.

Weight lost: 6lbs… Not a bad start, and a lot more than I was expecting. Although I am expecting it to slow down from here…

I’ve never been one for ‘new year, new me.’ Maybe because as a child, I used to spend a lot of new years with my best friend, whose parents always allowed her to have sleepovers at her house for NYE, while they went out. A gaggle of us tweens would raid my friends parents alcohol cupboard (I think the idea was that they deliberately turned a blind eye, rather than just didn’t notice-I went there for NYE every year for 6 years and they never mentioned it,) and we’d sit, and make lists of our new years resolutions, most of which contained stuff like ‘get X to notice me,’ ‘get X to snog me,’ ‘find out if skirt trousers are going to be on trend for another year, and if so, get them in every colour known to man.’ (I’d love to know if skirt trousers were a thing across the country, or just the backward town that I lived in? This was around 1997-answers, or even better, pictures, on a post card please!

So, inevitably, X wouldn’t notice us, we wouldn’t become supermodels, and skirt trousers thankfully crawled back into whichever hole they crawled out of. They would be left as material to become immortalised on buzzfeed lists of the most hideous fashion mistakes the nineties gave us, and photographic evidence of them destroyed (although I’ve never seen them on such lists, which again reiterates my question above?) That was what initially made me realise that new years lists were a waste of time (although to be fair, those tween lists didn’t really contain high brow realistic content…) But, growing older and more mature, I did try to make targets and goals for new year, but they’d inevitably go up in a cloud of smoke and broken dreams at some point, so I just stopped doing them, to save myself the feeling of failure.

Now here lies the point to this post-this year, I have set myself a goal. It’s a goal that will take a lot of time, a lot of patience, and may even take me into next year to even get it established. But I haven’t felt such determination to achieve something in a really long time.

I’ve written before that I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome.) I’ve known about this since I was 15, when I was sent for a scan following persistent abdominal pain, and irregular and heavy periods. I took the diagnosis with a pinch of salt, because none of the things the GP was telling me could affect me, affected me at the time-weight gain (I was a normal weight,) excessive hair (hadn’t noticed anything along those lines,) infertility (I remember being unnerved by this one, because I knew I wanted a family at some point in the very far away future, but I was young enough that I just put it to the back of my mind.) And as you are aware, I have two little monsters that I conceived with no problems, so this didn’t end up affecting me either.

But-there is a massive but here, (which rivals the size of mine.) Since I’ve had the children, my PCOS has worsened, and I am now what would be referred to as a classic PCOS sufferer. Overweight (yes, by quite a bit.) Excessive hair (bikini line home to undiscovered forest tribes that nobody knew existed? I’m your woman.) I’m just so glad that I was what’s known as a ‘mild sufferer’ of the condition so that at least I’ve got my children, and don’t have to go through the devastating infertility that hits a lot of PCOS sufferers.

The thing is, with PCOS, there is still very little known about its causes, and how to treat it. I had one ludicrous thought one day, ‘well, I’ve got children, I’ll just have my ovaries removed, then I won’t have it anymore.’ But research told me that others had been there, and done that, and were still no better for it. PCOS is a whole multi-system endocrine/metabolic dysfunction, not just limited to cysts on the ovaries. From what I can gather, most PCOS sufferers are insulin resistant (I am, I’ve had this confirmed by the GP.) Put simply, this is where cells in the body don’t respond to insulin in transporting glucose from the bloodstream, into tissues. The body produces more insulin because it thinks that there isn’t enough, sending blood sugars soaring, and leading to weight gain. The weight gain worsens the hormonal imbalance that causes the hairiness (or hirsutism, if you want to proper name,) and other defining PCOS factors. But when you have insulin resistance, losing weight can be difficult to impossible. Thus a very frustrating cycle commences.

I’ve become obsessed with my PCOS. I’ve fallen victim to one of my own cardinal sins-googling the shit out of it. Don’t google the shit out of stuff-it will drive you fucking bonkers. The thing is, I want success stories. But the forums, and the PCOS support sites have very, VERY few of these. But, on a recent foray into throwing myself into an abyss of depressing information, I actually came across some success stories. A lot of people you find on the forums make very bold statements like ‘PCOS has ruined my life!’ I always thought that it was a bit of a defeatist and dramatic thing to say. But lately, I’ve been thinking back to the depressing post I wrote at the start of last year, and I’m still the person avoiding social events because of the way I look. I’m still looking at pretty old clothes of mine, and wishing I could wear something other than loose clothing. I hate having to check parts of my body every day for hair, where there shouldn’t be hair. I hate the impact the way I feel and look has taken a toll on my marriage and friendships. I won’t say that PCOS has ruined my life, but it’s certainly made the quality of it one heck of a lot poorer.

So this year, I am on a mission. I am going to be a success story. I am going to be one of the few who reverses insulin resistance (which, with careful nutrition, I’ve been told can be done,) and takes back control of their life. I am going to break the cycle of weight gain/increased resistance to insulin/further hormonal imbalance/increased inability to get my weight back to normal again-the normal I had known all my life until pregnancy made me insulin resistant.

By writing it down, I feel like I’ve totally put my money where my mouth is-but I think it will be a great motivator. Over the next year, there will be a new section on my blog called ‘Cysters Are Doing It For Themselves,’ where I will talking about nutrition, progress, what works and what doesn’t, and at the end of it, there bloody WILL be a success story, because I am not going to be a prisoner to this any longer! Being an overweight, neanderthal resembling, social avoider, is not fun, and I’m looking forward to saying ‘naff off,’ to that person.

Yes, in the words of the world’s most famous assassinating cyborg, I am taking a break for Christmas, and will be back in the new year! The blogging link up #bigpinklink will resume on January the 9th, and carry on using the #pinklinker tag for your Instagram posts over the holidays, and the first roundup of your festive frolics, will also appear on the 9th!

If you don’t want to miss anything, then you can always subscribe using the ‘sign up for our mailing list’ button, on the right side bar if you’re using a PC, or scroll to the bottom of the page if you’re on a mobile!

Have an amazing Christmas, I hope your Bailey’s is plentiful, and your Children wait until after 6am to ask if the One In Red has visited….!

Cheers, to a fabulous Christmas, and a happy and healthy new year!!

I’ll be back…

Psssssttttttt, these awesome socks are from Chatty Feet who are right up my street with these brilliant socks from one of my favourite childhood films as a teen….! I was gifted these, and they are hilariously quirky and awesome….!